Hershey Bears fans break teddy bear record, toss 52K toys onto ice

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Bears set another record Saturday.

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The minor-league hockey team announced that its 20th annual Teddy Bear Toss event collected 52,341 stuffed animals, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported. That’s 6,691 more than the previous high of 45,650, which was set in December 2019, the team announced.

For the Teddy Bear toss, fans are encouraged to bring new or gently used plush toys to the game. When the Bears score their first goal of the night, fans get to throw the toys onto the ice. the Patriot-News reported.

They got their chance six minutes into the game when Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored, WHP-TV reported.

“Our fans never let us down. They were right on cue when that goal goes in, and what a celebration,” Hershey general manager Bryan Helmer told WHP. “It gives me goosebumps. Every time we score that goal and the bears start raining and to have a full crowd here tonight and the atmosphere, it’s amazing.”

The toys are collected and distributed to more than 25 local organizations, according to the Patriot-News.

The event was not held in the arena last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team collected toys in a drive-thru setting, the newspaper reported.